An ingrown toenail is one where the edge or corner of your nail grows down and cuts into the adjacent skin of your toe, leading to your toe becoming red, swollen and tender (inflamed). If left untreated, the inflammation can spread to the rest of your toe and the area becomes infected and may ooze pus. It may smell unpleasant.
You may inherit many factors that make you more likely to have an ingrown toenail. These genetic factors may affect the way you stand and the way you walk. You may also inherit a tendency for your toenails to curl in at the edges rather than to grow straight. Wearing tight shoes, socks or tights can damage your nails and encourage them to grow into your skin. Incorrect nail cutting and trauma to the nail are perhaps the most common causes of ingrowing nails.
Prompt treatment by a Podiatrist / Chiropodist is recommended to minimise pain and this can often reduce the amount of treatment involved and also costs. Podiatrists are specialists of foot and ankle problems such as in-growing toe nails. Initially your podiatrist may cut, file, and dress the toe and give advice on prevention; a review appointment is sometimes necessary 7-14 days after your initial appointment. You may take painkillers such as paracetamol to relieve the pain.
If your toenail does not improve, your podiatrist may be able to partially remove a section of your toenail with the aid of a local aesthetic to minimise discomfort and this may be sufficient to allow the ingrowing toenail to heal and the nail to grow back satisfactorily.
If the above treatment is unsuccessful or not deemed suitable for you due to the severity of your ingrown nail your podiatrist may recommend a minor surgical procedure in which a section or your entire toenail is permanently removed. This will be done by cutting the offending piece of nail out surgically, under local anaesthetic and using phenol (a chemical) to prevent regrowth.
Here at The House Clinics Bristol this can all be done under one roof, so if you feel that you might have a possible ingrown toenail then why not give us a call on 0117 9420200 or book online at www.thehouseclinics.co.uk